Required RF Tracker Data Collection (2014-2015)

word version

ACTION REQUIRED
2014-2015

September 8, 2014

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:

SUBJECT:  Required RF Tracker Data Collection for Local Education Agencies with Residential Care and Treatment Facilities within Their Geographic Boundaries and/or Jurisdiction

The purpose of this letter is to notify local education agencies (LEAs) of timelines related to the required 2014-2015 collection of data for students with disabilities who reside in residential care and treatment facilities (RFs) within the geographic boundaries or jurisdiction of an LEA.  LEAs have the ongoing obligation to enter data into the RF Tracker data collection system, which is now open for 2014-2015 data entry.  This system is necessary because the data it collects are not currently available from the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) and it ensures LEAs are evaluated fairly based on real-time data regarding the highly mobile students they serve in RFs.

The required data collection includes facility and student information related to the provision of special education and related services to students with disabilities who reside in RFs within an LEA’s boundaries or jurisdiction.  Each district or charter with an RF within its boundaries or jurisdiction in which students with disabilities reside, must complete the data collection.  Other LEAs are not required to complete the data collection.  The data collected through the RF Tracker are used by the TEA in making certain determinations related to the staging and selection of LEAs for intervention activities under the RF monitoring system.

For the purpose of reporting and monitoring under RF Monitoring System, an RF provides
24-hour custody or care of a student 22 years of age or younger if the student resides in the facility for detention, treatment, foster, or any non-educational purpose.  This does not include traditional foster homes licensed by the Department of Family and Protective Services as Foster Family Homes (independent).  Therefore, for the purpose of RF monitoring, an RF student is a student with disabilities who lives in an RF.

LEAs that are required to complete the data collection can request access to the RF Tracker application through the Texas Education Agency Secure Environment (TEASE) by completing an on-line request form which contains instructions for establishing access. LEA users who work within a shared services arrangement (SSA) and need access to the application on behalf of more than one LEA must submit a paper application in addition to completing the on-line request form. The SSA application can downloaded from the TEA website link referenced above. Once access has been established, the RF Tracker application can be accessed at the following link: https://seguin.tea.state.tx.us/apps/logon.asp. 

For LEAs that are reporting data into the RF Tracker for the first time during the
2014-2015 school year, guidance regarding completion of RF Tracker data can be found in two documents, the RF Tracker Guidance Document and a Helpful Hints document, located on the Special Education RF Intervention Guidance and Resources webpage.  These documents provide information on data documentation, data definitions, and use of the RF Tracker data collection system. 

LEAs that entered data into the RF Tracker data collection system during the 2013-2014 program year will see that data rolled forward into the 2014-2015 application.  The purpose of this rollover is to decrease data entry obligations for LEAs.  However, it is important that LEAs review all of the data that has been rolled forward into the 2014-2015 program year and revise it as necessary to reflect accurate current information.

For LEAs with residential care and treatment facilities within their boundaries or jurisdiction,
a due date of November 14, 2014, has been established for updating RF
Tracker
 data to reflect the current status of each RF student and residential facility.  After November 14, 2014, the RF Tracker system will remain open for data entry, and LEAs will be responsible for maintaining current and accurate records in the system. 

Additional correspondence related to the end-of-year due date for the completion of 2014-2015 RF Tracker data will be disseminated to LEAs in the spring of 2015.  If you need assistance completing the RF Tracker data collection, you may contact your ESC monitoring or special education contact at the phone numbers available from the TEA website at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/regional_services/esc/.

As part of the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) efforts to implement the provisions of Senate Bill 1, General Appropriations Act, Rider 70, in 2015 TEA is proposing to convene a series of meetings on the RF monitoring system. These meetings will include consideration of any recommendations for improving the RF Tracker data collection and/or viable data collection alternatives that can ensure TEA continues to meet its ongoing obligation to implement a monitoring system that addresses the unique circumstances of students with disabilities residing in RFs and ensure that all students with disabilities, including those who reside in RFs, are provided a free appropriate public education.

We appreciate your ongoing assistance with the RF Tracker data collection process.  If you have questions regarding the content of this letter, please contact the Division of Program Monitoring and Interventions at (512) 463-5226 or by email at pmidivision@tea.texas.gov.

 

Sincerely,

 

Michael Greenwalt, Ed.D.

Program Monitoring and Interventions

 

cc:   ESC Executive Directors

        ESC Special Education and RF Monitoring Contacts